There are about 44 percent of Americans right now that are deficient in vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for more than just eye health. This Vitamin helps protect against cancer and heart disease as well as night blindness and other eye problems. It also helps the skin repair itself as well as helps in the formation of bone and teeth.
Vitamin A or retinol is also an immune booster. It helps fight against colds and the flu. It also helps prevent kidney, bladder. lung, mucous membrane infections. Vitamin A is converted in the body from Beta-carotene. The recommended daily amount for an adult is from 2300 IU’s (International Units) to 3000 IU’s per day.
Women who are lactating need about 4000 IU’s per day. Children need between 1000 and 2000 IU’s per day. One half cup of boiled carrots will give you 13,418 IU’s. A seven inch raw carrot will give you 8,666 IU’s. One cup of cubed cantaloupe will give you 5,411 IU’s and one cup of raw spinach will give you 2,813 IU’s of Beta-carotene.
Blood levels of antioxidants usually decrease with age. Italian researchers discovered that people 100 years and older needed much more levels of vitamin’s A and E than younger people. The researcher concluded that these two vitamins are very important for producing long life.
What Are The Effects Of Vitamin A Deficiency?
Vitamin A deficiency in the body can cause dry hair and skin. It can also cause dry eyes, frequent colds, poor growth, sinusitis, skin disorders, fatigue, insomnia and respiratory infections. Most people think that frequent colds have to do with a lack of vitamin C. Vitamin C is important in the prevention of colds. However, it is now being realized that this vitamin also has a lot to do with cold prevention
This vitamin is now being realized to have a lot to do with overall body health, not just eye health. Most people with sleep trouble don’t think to check their vitamin A levels. This is however, something that should be checked when you see your doctor. The effects of not having enough of this vitamin in our body’s can be felt in many ways other than poor eye health.
Be careful not to go overboard with your intake of vitamin A. As with all things, moderation is the key. Continual high doses of vitamin A has been known to cause liver damage. According to the New England Journal Of Medicine, Vitamin A doses greater than 10,000 IU’s have cause 1 out of 57 birth defects in the United States.
Pregnant women should keep their intake of Vitamin A supplements below 5,000 IU’s. But, make sure and check with your doctor as to the best intake levels for you and your family. With the proper diet, we can all get optimum levels of vitamin A to remain healthy and strong for a long time to come.